Hello and welcome. I am also new to the forum but maybe can offer a little input regarding Effexor.
I took Effexor several years ago when I was first diagnosed with clinical depression. I was really bad and checked into the hospital. I had fought depression for over a year without medication because my family and church thought that I should be able to handle it and pray about it and it would go away.
Anyway, I was really in a bad way when I got to the hospital. Effexor is what they gave me to begin my treatment. I think I took 25 mg. I began to feel better within 24 hours. It really changed my life for the better. Now...with all that said, I took it for about a year and asked to be changed to something else because the Effexor had side effects. It kept me from being suicidal but it didn't let me "feel" emotions much at all. I believe that a mentally healthy person should be able to cry and laugh. It also caused sexual side effects and made me gain weight (I see that someone else didn't gain weight so I think they each affect us differently. My doctor had told me that a 25 lb weight gain wasn't so bad--that some people gain as much as 50 lbs. on anti-depressants.) So, needless to say, that was enough to make me depressed (humor!!).
All that to say that it is a good medication that did pull me back to the functioning world but it wasn't the best thing for me after a while. I now take Wellbutrin. No additional weight gain and, until recently, I have been fine.
Hope this helps!